Insurance policies differ depending on the states or provinces where you live. Some state/provinces do not have no-fault insurance. If you are ever in an accident and your resident state does not have no-fault insurance you must be able to prove damages and whether the accident was the other party’s fault or yours. This article will provide you with critical steps to filling an insurance claim.
Accidents happen and that is why you should read through your policy and understand your coverage beforehand. Don’t wait until you are in an accident to read your policy. If there is any point that you are not clear about, be sure to discuss it with your insurance agent so that you are clear about your coverage. In the unfortunate event that you are in an accident, you must follow the steps outlined here so that you know how to file an insurance claim.
1. Exchange Information
The most important thing after the accident is for you to exchange information. You must write down the other party’s name, address, phone number, driver license information, insurance policy and company, vehicle information such as model, make and license plate number.
2. Statement of Witnesses
Another equally important point is to write down the name and contact of witnesses along with their statement. If any witness is unwilling to provide his/her information to you, be sure that their statement and contact is recorded in the police report. Be sure to get statements from at least two witnesses
3. Write down or Take a Picture of Damages
You should inspect the damages on your car and the other party’s car and record them. Since now days most people have a camera built in to their phone, you can easily take a photo of the accident and all damages. This will be a good proof of what damages were caused by the accident and what damages may have existed previous to the accident. The other party may try to pin down previous damages on you, and thus a photo of the accident will protect you from such frauds.
4. File an Accident Report
You must report the accident immediately to the department of motor vehicle services in your city or if a police arrives at the scene, the police will file a report.
5. Inform Your Insurance Company
You must report the accident to your insurance company and provide them with the required information, which usually include the information that you gathered at the scene along with the statement of witnesses. There is a time restraint on filling claims so do not delay this. It is best to notify the insurance company immediately. Whether the accident was your fault or the other party, you must notify the insurance provider.
6. Appraisal Process
The insurance companies will send in their appraiser to evaluate the cost of damages. It is best to have your own expert or independent appraiser to provide you with an unbiased assessment as well; you will also need this information in case you may need to dispute your car insurance claim.
The best way of protecting yourself is to follow the procedures on how to file a car insurance claim stated in this article and record all information accurately. Do not delay on reporting the accident and notifying your insurance provider. Speak to your insurance agent to seek advice and to ensure that all grounds have been covered.